Interview: Penny Zeller

I love finding out how people met their spouses. Don’t you? Well believe it or not, Penny Zeller met her hubby from a prank phone call! (That has nothing to do with her interview here, but I just think it’s interesting.) I found this out on Penny’s blog which I really adore, so be sure you check it out.

I was introduced to Penny through the ACFW because she’s doing a blog tour for her latest book. Enjoy this interview and learning more about her.

I love the fact that you began writing by crafting Bible stories in your own words when you were just seven. When did you complete your first book and how long did it take for you to get published?

I started out by writing numerous articles for national and regional publications. My first published book was a children’s picture book titled Hollyhocks. It was inspired by my nephew, Seth, who has a fatal peanut allergies. I actually self-published Hollyhocks, which for me, opened up the world of publication. My second book, a nonfiction book, was traditionally published by a small publishing company. I worked my way up to larger traditional publishers for my nonfiction book 77 Ways Your Family Can Make a Difference: Ideas and Activities for Serving Others and my historical novels, McKenzie, Kaydie, and Hailee with Whitaker House.

What has been the best thing that has happened so far in your writing career? Anything that surprised you?

The emails I have received from readers telling me that my books have helped them grow into a deeper relationship with God and/or that my books have impacted them in a positive way have been the best thing that has happened in my writing career. Oh, and of course, one of the most exciting things is when the UPS man delivers my box of my latest release. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of holding your finished book for the first time.

Tell us about your latest book.  Is there a favorite passage or paragraph you’d like to share?

Here is the blurb for Hailee, book #3 in my Montana Skies Historical Romance Series:

For years, orphan Hailee Annigan was just a ragamuffin in the Cincinnati streets, stealing food to keep her two younger brothers fed. Her thievery landed her in a home for delinquent youngsters, where her life was changed, thanks to her teachers. Now, nineteen-year-old Hailee excitedly heads to Montana to be a teacher, yet she’s still plagued by her shameful past and the fear of never seeing her brothers again.

Based on his upbringing in high-society Boston, no one would have guessed that Maxwell Nathaniel Adams Jr. would attend seminary and become a church pastor in rugged Montana. Even now, Nate’s parents refuse to put aside their own plans for his future and accept his calling.

When their paths converge, an immediate attraction draws Hailee and Nate together, even as the pressures and demands of others pull them apart. Can the unlikely pair come to terms with their pasts and face the future together?

What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

The Bible. It has all the answers to life’s questions.

Book you’re currently reading?

I recently read Scattered Petals: A Novel (Texas Dreams) by Amanda Cabot, Grow Old With Me (The Quilt Trail Series) by Melinda Evaul, and Patchwork Dreams (Amish of Seymour V1) (The Amish of Seymour) by Laura Hilton. All are excellent books!

In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?

Wow, this is a great question! I think success can come in many forms. Providing reading material that impacts lives, to me, is a measure of a successful writer. To encourage and mentor others is another measure of success. And to be given the opportunity to write God-honoring inspirational romance – is a dream come true for me.

Where can we learn more about you?

I love to connect with my readers at

Anything else you’d like to add?

I would just like to add how much I appreciate the support and encouragement of my readers. I couldn’t do this without you!

I would also like to add that I have a special tab on my blog for writers that includes helpful information including sticking with writing and attending a writer’s conference.

Thank you, Cherie, for graciously hosting me on your blog. It was great to be here!

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3 Comments on "Interview: Penny Zeller"

  1. I know you’re going to think I’m crazy, but I haven’t attended a writing conference yet. I’ve even been a member of ACFW for over 6 months and haven’t really zipped around and learned the ropes. (crazy, ain’t it?!)

    Thank you for the interview ~ Penny’s a fun person, and I’m glad that her book is coming out soon. Congrats, Penny!


    Cherie Reply:

    You’re not crazy at all! I haven’t either. I had planned to, but a few “life circumstances” got in the way. I am planning to go next September tho. Maybe I’ll see you there. 🙂


    Penny Zeller Reply:

    Actually, Amanda, I don’t think you’re crazy! It took me nearly forever to attend my first one. And then another forever to attend the second one, lol!

    Thanks, Amanda, for your sweet compliments. I really, really, really (did I mention really?!) appreciate you!


  2. I love the fact that Penny is so versatile – children’s book, non-fiction book, fiction … not to mention she’s gone almost every route in terms of publishing, too.


    Penny Zeller Reply:

    Hi Tracy! It’s great to see you here. It has been a great learning experience for me to have dabbled in different genres and different ways of publishing too. I love it that there are more options than ever for today’s authors.


  3. Hi Cherie! I just wanted to thank you again for allowing me the privilege of being on Working Writers and Bloggers. This is an AWESOME site with so much information! Thank you for providing such a great service for writers.


    Cherie Reply:

    You are so welcome! I am happy you came on and inspired everyone here. Keep it up!


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